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M: Maternity/Paternity Leave

Paid family leave combats poverty, gives children a healthy start, and lowers the wage gap between women and men by providing structural support to balance work and family.

Selena's Story

Selena's baby boy, Connor, was born six weeks early. As Connor was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit, Selena found herself alone in a hospital bed realizing that she was going to go home well before her baby. "There was no way we could afford for me to take off more than we planned,” recalls Selena. So after Selena had the baby on Thursday, she was released from the hospital Friday, and was back at her desk on Monday morning. “It was the hardest two and a half weeks of my life,” she says recalling the ache of being away from her newborn son.

Click here to watch a segment of the Motherhood Manifesto documentary to learn more about Selena's story and why we all need access to paid family and medical leave.


Know the Facts

  • Right now only 13 (!!!) percent of Americans have access to paid family leave through their employer and only 37% have personal medical leave provided through an employer.
  • Although the current Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows some employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, it only covers about 60 percent of employees.
  • A quarter of all poverty spells in the United States are because of having a baby.
  • The U.S is one of the only countries in the world that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers.
  • Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality).
  • Paid leave improves worker retention, which saves employers money through reduced turnover cost.


What You Can Do

MomsBlogging on Maternity & Paternity Leave

American families need a paid family & medical leave policy that check's ALL the boxes!

Posted February 15, 2017 by tina@momsrising.org

Can you believe that in the United States only 14% of workers--and only 5% of low-wage workers--have access to paid leave through their employers?[1] American workers need a national paid family and medical leave policy that checks ALL the boxes: It needs to be ACCESSIBLE to all workers, offer a MEANINGFUL length of leave, be [...]

Posted Under: paid family leave

#MilitaryMonday: I Was a New Mother in the Military

Posted February 6, 2017 by Amy Smolinski

Mom2Mom Global is an all-volunteer support organization for breastfeeding military families.  What’s wonderful about our model is that those who take on leadership positions, whether in local chapters or on the national level, are real parents who have the expertise of lived experience.  Unfortunately, many of our members come to us after having faced difficult [...]

Washington State MomsForce: 5 Actions in 5 Minutes

Posted February 7, 2017 by Maggie Humphreys

Wow – it has been a big week. Families in Washington state and across the country are still reeling from the harmful directives coming from the new administration. Now, more than ever, Washingtonians are counting on the power of state and local advocacy to move the dial for children and families. You are needed in [...]

Still We Rise: 9 Amazing Ways YOU Made an Impact for Women and Families in 2016

Posted February 3, 2017 by Kristin

Before we get too far into the New Year, I wanted to take a moment to thank our MomsRising supporters for powering incredible MOMentum in 2016. Looking back, it wasn’t that long ago that women’s and family economic security -- from paid family leave to equal pay – were barely part of the political conversation. [...]

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